Wolf scat is potentially dangerous.

Ed Bangs wrote “MFWP [Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks] veterinarian Mark Atkinson examined and keyed out some ‘unidentified eggs’ submitted by Kent Laudon (MFWP Kalispell, MT), from wolf NW112M. They were in fact, proglottids of Echinococcus granulosus, the tapeworm that is responsible for Hydatid disease. The tapeworm has a two stage life cycle. The adult tapeworm is attached in the canid gut and sheds eggs that are ingested by ungulates. The eggs develop into embryos that migrate out of the gut to form cysts in the ungulate’s lungs, liver, and other tissues. When the tissue with cysts is ingested by canids, the larval tapeworm develops into an adult tapeworm in the canid digestive tract- starting the life cycle again. Human infection from wild canid scat is almost nonexistent in North America, but anyone routinely handling wolf scat should be careful not to inhale eggs from dried wolf scat and to careful wash after handing wolf scat to avoid ingestion of eggs.”

People who hate wolves have tried to scare people with facts like these, but the truth is the scat of every predatory mammal and omnivores (like bears) is likely to carry parasites. This includes free running dogs and cats.

People do not normally smell or eat dog, coyote, cougar or bear scat. The scat of the domestic cat has infected millions of folks with toxoplasmosis, which is primarily dangerous to pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems

So if you are dumb enough to eat wolf shit, you certainly do have something to worry about, but that disgusting thought should put this “threat” into perspective.

For information about a much more likely threat, read “Intestinal Parasites of Dogs and Cats.

Gains made on Montana’ s Derby Fire. It’s the biggest forest fire of the year.

So it turns out that the Derby Fire is the largest by far of the many forest fires in the Northern Rockies this year, although I should add there have been some larger range fires in Idaho and Nevada. The fire is still raging, and some wildlife has been caught in the fast moving fire. It is the first fire to destroy a lot of homes.

Most of this country is incredible wildlife habitat, and it won’t be harmed in the middle or long run. It may be improved. However, I suspect a lot of winter range burned and that might effect elk and deer this winter. This is transition from farm, foothills, low mountains and many coulées just in front of the Beartooth Range. Wolves and grizzly bears frequent the edges.

“Firefighters make Gains.” The Billings Gazette. There are good photos. Read the article.

On the early efforts to control the fire from the Billings Gazette. Read the article

September 4, “Fire officials order more evacuations.” The Derby Fire has grown to 180,000 acres and the weather is becoming more favorable for fire spread with rising termperature and winds. Mike Stark describes the Derby situation and other Montana fires in the Billings Gazette. Read the article.

September 5, “Derby Fire 20% contained.” Read Billings Gazette article.
September 5, “Crews labor to stop Derby fire’s march.” Read Bozeman Chronicle article.
September 6, “Latest Derby Fire fact sheet.

Posted in Wildfires, Wildlife Habitat. Comments Off on Gains made on Montana’ s Derby Fire. It’s the biggest forest fire of the year.